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The Old Rectory

Click to enlarge: The Old Rectory, map number 21Analysis of the annual growth rings in the roof timbers has established that this house was built in 1717. This house is also an example of English rather than Irish building traditions, as the skills and techniques employed in its construction were brought into Ireland by English settlers.

The wall oven beside the kitchen hearth is a rare feature in Ulster where the majority of settlers were Scottish in origin. In the south-east of Ireland where the main settlement was of English people, wall ovens are a common feature.Click to enlarge: Welcome to the Old Rectory, traditional Irish Garden

No records survive for the first eighty years of the life of the house.  The earliest surviving records show that in 1790 the occupant was a Captain Archibald McCallion, a retired officer who had fought in the British Army in the American War of Independence (1775-1783).

From 1800, until his death in 1825, the occupant was Rev. Robert McCullough, Curate of Duneane Parish.

His youngest son, Frederick, inherited the house and continued to farm the fifty acres around it. Click to enlarge: Baking on the Griddle on the Old RectoryThe house remained in the McCullough family until the 1940s.

The Rev. McCullough was responsible for the house being extended by the addition of the parlour behind the kitchen hearth and the bedroom above.

The house is furnished as the home of a clergyman of the established church and represents the rural or small-town home of a member of the professions in the period 1890-1910.

Original location: Lismacloskey townland, Toomebridge, County Antrim.